Transparency is needed as re/insurers navigate the systemic risk potential of pandemics, cyber and climate change

Pandemic, cyber and climate change are the key systemic risks facing re/insurance companies. This is according speakers on a ’fireside chat’ panel discussion, hosted by Aon.

Christa Schwimmer, senior executive manager, Global Clients, Munich Re; Charles Fry, CEO, Acacia Holdings Ltd. and Sean McGovern, CEO, UK & Lloyd’s, AXA XL, said the industry had been ”extraordinarily resilient” during the COVID-19 pandemic, but that lessons had to be learnt. 

“[The pandemic] taught us that preparedness is critical,” said McGovern, adding that the event was “entirely foreseeable and expected” and had been on government and company risk registers for many years.

The panelists agreed that re/insurers needed “a seat at the table” when governments and regulators were formulating approaches to risk mitigation, with McGovern stating that the industry had “an awful lot to bring” in helping with risk planning and solutions.

Fry added: “We need to embed that proactive approach to giving advice and really step up to the plate as experts. We need that embedded in the DNA.”

Clarity and transparency will help to rebuild people’s trust in the industry following the challenges of COVID-19, they thought, while innovative solutions, such as parametric risk transfer, can help to mitigate systemic risk and close the protection gap.